Action / Abstraction Redefined

Action/Abstraction Redefined takes a fresh look at  modern Native American art inspired by Abstract Expressionism, Color Field, and Hard-edge painting.

Exhibition Images

  • Bertha Lujan Untitled

    Bertha Lujan (Taos), Untitled, undated, clay, glazes, 27 x 6 x 4 in., MoCNA Collection (TA-1)

  • Fritz Scholder (Mission/Luiseño) New Mexico #40

    Fritz Scholder (Mission/Luiseño), New Mexico #40, 1966, acrylic on canvas, 73.5 x 51.5 in., MoCNA Collection (MS-41)

  • Lloyd Henri “Kiva” New Cherokee Untitled Squares

    Lloyd Henri “Kiva” New (Cherokee), Untitled (Squares), 1968, acrylic on canvas, wood, 42.25 x 31.5 in., MoCNA Collection (CHE-23)

  • George Morrison Wahwahtehgonagabo Chippewa White Painting No. 1

    George Morrison (Wahwahtehgonagabo) (Chippewa), White Painting No. 1, 1965, oil on canvas, 50.5 x 50.5 in., MoCNA Collection (CHP-72)

  • Fritz Scholder (Mission/Luiseño) New Mexico Number 21

    Fritz Scholder (Mission/Luiseño), New Mexico Number 21, 1965, Oil on canvas, 71.375 x 55 in., MoCNA Collection (MS-27)

  • Douglas “Doug” Hyde Nez Perce/Assiniboine/Chippewa Sun and Moon Gods

    Douglas “Doug” Hyde (Nez Perce/Assiniboine/Chippewa), Sun and Moon Gods, 1967, wood, mixed media, 43.5 x 13 x 6.25 in., MoCNA Collection (NP-5)

About the Exhibition

Action/Abstraction Redefined is the first major traveling exhibition that analyzes modern Native American art from the mid-1940s through the 1970s that was inspired by Abstract Expressionism, Color Field, and Hard-edge painting and created by leading artists, including George Morrison, Fritz Scholder, and T.C. Cannon. These innovative artists explored new ways of artistic expression and challenged stereotypical expectations of American Indian art. Their paintings, sculptures and works on paper were created at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe and in art studios across the nation. IAIA’s revolutionary art approaches encouraged experimentation and risk taking: artists combined New York School art influences with Native art traditions. George Morrison (Chippewa) actively contributed to the Abstract Expressionism movement in New York, where he exhibited and was associated with Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and other avant-garde artists of the time. Like Abstract Expressionists, who broke with representational conventions and prioritized experimentation, IAIA artists redefined the concept of abstraction by creating deeply personal works informed by their own traditional aesthetics and art influences coming out of New York. Their innovative works pushed the boundaries of Native art and contributed to the development of contemporary Native Art.

Tour Schedule